Guessing #games and the perception of #language

Sharing is key to education and I like to incorporate all kinds of things during teaching. As I think one of the greatest tools we’ve got is ourselves, I usually try to engage my students in activities with a personal touch.
I’ve used guessing games as  a quick fix (to accommodate 5-10 minutes at the end of a lesson), a prologue to open speaking lessons, even full lessons at times.
The results are always so rewarding! These activities help us come closer as a class and give us the opportunity to share and learn at the same time. They’re also a great way to showcase our work and progress, either individually or as a group.


I often use my homelands for reference; it’s a great reminder of how rich the Greek culture, both ancient and modern, is and how many things it provides us with so we can take our learning to the next level. The following activity can be used in many different ways and contexts. I’ve used it to get students to practise phonemes, improve their speaking & writing and work on digital skills. Here’s an example of a half-hour activity for intermediate+ level students which I do before Easter break, aiming at practicing pronunciation, using English and cultural exchange:

1. Bring up the following presentation on the screen: LinguaGuess#1 (a very simple presentation – I’ve now made it public on Google docs)
2. Elicit answers from the students and write the most popular on the board (alternatively, students can take notes and compare with classmates).
3. Discuss answers and ask students to pronounce the given word. Ask them to use the word in a sentence of their own.
4.Time for real answers! Take the students through the whole presentation, explaining vocabulary & context when necessary.

Follow-up activities:
– create a similar presentation of your own, using a word you find interesting or you think not many people would know its meaning.
– create a presentation of how you and your family celebrate Easter.
– find interesting Easter trivia from a place (village, city, country) of your choice and share them with the class.

#My Notes
The presentation above is about the word ”batoudo”.
When I asked students which language it comes from, the most popular answers were Spanish and Hindi.
Most of them thought it was either a type of traditional garment or a spice!
Students using the word came up with examples like:
(The ones who thought it was Spanish)
”Almost ready for the party! I just have to  get my batoudo to the dry-cleaner’s tomorrow.”
”We have to go back, I left my batoudo on the chair.”
(The ones who thought it was Hindi)
”Add some batoudo for a twist in your biryani!”
”The girls looked lovely in their batoudos.”

This is an activity I really enjoy doing with students and thought I’d share it with all – as always, feedback is greatly appreciated, leave a comment if you have any examples of your own or some different ideas!


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